Seth Gordon-directed Baywatch has recieved mixed reviews. Priyanka Chopra has managed to notch up some words of praise, though the writing of her character has come under some criticism.
Here's what Western critics are saying about Priyanka Chopra in Baywatch
23 May 2017 18:40 IST
Updated : 24 May 2017 10:48 IST
Priyanka Chopra makes her Hollywood debut with Baywatch, a comedy reboot of the popular and cheesy 90s TV show by the same name, this week. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and gang as lifeguards trying to save their beloved beach from the hands of the evil villain, Priyanka Chopra's Victoria Leeds.
The reviews of the Seth-Gordon directed R-rated comedy are now coming out and the film hasn't found much favour among the western critics with most giving it an average rating of 2 out of 5.
The reviews have been mixed. While the British newspaper, The Guardian, (rating: 1/5) has slammed the film, calling it 'an alpha-male chest-off is not worth the Hasselhoff', Time Out magazine (rating: 4/5) has applauded the raunchy comedy, saying, "A jokey and surprisingly effective reboot for the '90s." Indiewire (rating B-) said that "Baywatch is actually pretty fun." They wrote, "The Rock and Zac Efron Deliver A Splashy Summer Hit Full of D*** Jokes." Another English tabloid, Metro.co.uk, (rating: 3/5) said, "Stupid, juvenile, and hilarious."
It does seem like Chopra has managed to work with whatever the writers have offered her as a baddie to find some amount of praise from the reviewers.
The magazine, Variety, had some fun words for the actress: "Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra), the new owner of the Honda Club? Chopra, the crossover Bollywood star, preens and schemes like a vamp from Dynasty.”
The IGN review praised Chopra's performance. "The only other highlight is Priyanka Chopra as nefarious entrepreneur Victoria Leeds, who outshines pretty much anyone she’s in a scene with. Chopra’s engaging and interesting and is the only character that speaks with any kind of distinctive cadence, with the rest of the cast falling into the exact same pattern of delivery of their hackneyed gags. None of them are given much of anything to do, either."
Another website, Radio Times, had this to say: "Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra judges the mood perfectly, playing the villain with exactly the right amount of dramatic flair (“I’m not a Bond villain… yet” she teases during an interrogation)."
The film website, Den of Geek, applauded Chopra's screen presence and called her as charismatic as Johnson. "Contrary to this disappointment there’s Priyanka Chopra as the film’s villain (a part reportedly written for a male actor) - it’s a welcome switch from the norm that, while it doesn’t save the film, adds a layer of interest. There’s a reason Chopra is a massive international star, and she joins Johnson as one of the most charismatic people on screen," says Den Of Geek.
Movie website Collider said that Chopra's was the real standout performance in Baywatch and that the Indian star's Hollywood career should take off after this film. "The real standout is Chopra. I’ve never seen her TV series Quantico, but she owns the film every second she’s on screen. Victoria isn’t a particularly memorable villain on the page, but Chopra is commanding, and when she gets called an aspiring Bond villain, it made me want her to be the villain in the next Bond movie. If there’s one good thing that can come from the wreckage of this movie, it’s for Chopra’s career in Hollywood films to take off."
Another website, Screendaily, wrote, "Not to mention Priyanka Chopra as the film’s seductive villain — hardly coming across as subversive or self-aware."
There is no doubt that the actress has recieved full marks for looking super hot too. "A particularly pouty and sinister upmarket resort owner Victoria Leeds," is how the tabloid Metro UK describes Chopra. The Guardian felt that Chopra's character was underused. "Even Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, the underused villain of the piece, looks like she was contractually obliged to show as much flesh as permissible," writes The Guardian.
"She’s playing a character who describes herself as aspiring to being a 007 villain, but the actress finds no fun in Victoria’s wickedness," wrote entertainment and news website, The Wrap, also mentioning that the comedy for her part was under-written.
IBTimes felt that her character had more potential but remained under-developed - "Chopra's baddie is shamefully thin too, as she embodies a wishy-washy Bond-esque villain." Indiewire felt the same. "Nothing against Chopra; it’s as if the writers were so pleased with themselves for writing a female villain they forgot to give her a personality."
All in all it looks like Chopra has made a decent and talked-about Hollywood film debut as Victoria Leeds. Baywatch releases in the US on 25 June and in India on 2 June.